The Essential Wedding Shot List
Since every wedding is different, we don't know which specifics are the most important to YOU, until we have that conversation - but we certainly aren't starting at zero! Below is a list of all of the most important details and moments we have compiled from hundreds of weddings, to get the conversation started. Maybe your jewelry has significant meaning to you, or maybe it doesn't mean anything at all! But having on our list ensures we at least talk about it, to make sure nothing important is missing. If you have anything we DON'T cover, just let us know! We will snag that shot too.
Because we are totally prepared for your big day, we have our essential wedding shot list that we work from each and every time to be sure that your wedding is captured beautifully and completely. So from the bride's dress to the groom's cufflinks, this is our essential wedding shot list for every wedding we attend.
Essential Bride Shots
At Epic, we have a list of shots that we want to get, but there are some that are more wants than needs, too. So if we have the ability to get it, we will, but if it just doesn't happen we won't spend the extra time to grab it. The day is all about you and your wedding, of course, so whatever you decide definitely makes it on the Must Get shot list for the day. For brides, we have a few fundamentals:
- Wedding shoes. This shot is listed in our book as Very Important to us. We know many brides go through great lengths to choose the perfect shoes to go with the perfect dress, and may want to immortalize that decision with a picture, so we try to grab it. But if the bride says not to worry about it, this isn't one of our Must Have shots.
- Pre-Wedding Prayer. Some families hold their beliefs very dear to them and their faith is very important, so catching a shot of the entire wedding party in the middle of holding hands and saying a prayer together may be a shining memory they would love to have. Since not all families feel this way, this is another shot that is Very Important, but not a Must Have.
- Wedding Jewelry. In our books, this is a Must Have Wedding Shot. Just like with the wedding shoes, we know brides go through a lot to find the right jewelry, or else it is a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation, making them very important pieces. Because of this, we make sure to get a creative, mesmerizing shot of it all together.
- Bride's Maids' Dress Hanging. This Must Have wedding shot is one that many might not think about, but it is one that we enjoy taking. While the wedding day is about the happy couple, the bride spent a lot of time thinking about her bride's maids' dresses and getting this shot compliments that effort.
- Bride's Make-Up Getting Done. One of the biggest events during the wedding is getting ready for it. Since this is often a special time with the bride's mother and/or best friends, this is one of our Must Have shots.
- Bride Getting Help with Her Dress. This is another one of those special portraits for a bride. Getting a little help with the zipper in the back or buttons in a place she can't reach is another special memory of the wedding for everyone present and so we added it to our Must Have list.
- Bride's Maids with Shoes. This optional photo is a great addition to any collection. Have photographer get a pic of the girls helping the bride put on/ lace up her shoes.
- Putting On The Veil. Of course, this quintessential photograph cannot be forgotten. What bride wouldn't want to see herself getting her veil put on or wearing it? This piece of her wardrobe is one of the most important parts of her day because the next time she takes it off will be when she is standing before her groom and that is why it is a Must Have shot.
- Opening Her Pre-Wedding Gift. It has become more of a tradition for brides and grooms to give each other a little special gift before the ceremony and getting to capture the looks on their faces as they do speaks volumes of the love they share. This is why we have added this to our Must Have list.
- Reading Her Pre-Wedding Letter. We're not crying, you are. The pre-wedding letters are another option many couples have opted in for over the last few years and we're here for it. The pure, raw emotion that not only goes into those letters, but shows on their beautiful faces is what love stories are made of and that is why we added it to our Must Have wedding shots.
- Pre-Wedding Toast.
- Bride, Alone in Her Dress.If you don't get this photograph, something is terribly wrong! The wedding is one of many womens' biggest dreams come true, so getting a picture of her in the dress she has fantasized for years is absolutely a Must Have.
Essential Wedding Shot List for The Groom
While many focus solely on the bride, we know the big day is just as nerve wracking and exciting for the groom. His is half of the love story, of course, so we pay him some special attention as well. Take a look at our shot list for the groom below.
- Groom Getting Ready, Putting on Watch, Cufflinks, and Shoes. Just like the bride getting ready in her room, the groom has his entourage helping him get ready for the ceremony and we are there to catch the little - but important - things, like when he outs his watch on or adjust his tie. However, since not every groom appreciates these shots, we add these to our Very Important shot list, but it is not a Must Have.
- Putting on the Cufflinks. While some grooms may not like to have his entire "getting ready" ritual added to the wedding album, we do add this shot to our Must Haves. We think of it along the lines of the bride's "Getting Help with Her Dress", as it can be a special moment shared between the groom and his best man, or a nice memory of his day, later on.
- Groom Straightening His Tie. This shot is another one of our Must Have wedding shots because it is so classic and can be so artful, turning a simple moment in the grooms day into a charming memory.
- Putting On the Jacket. This is another one of those classic memories that may only take a few moments, but really sets it into the grooms mind that "this is really happening", so we add it to our Must Have list.
- Putting on the Boutonniere. That flower just may signify a lot for the groom about his bride. If they chose the flowers together, or if she chose it just for him, this simple item is his and his alone, making it another Must Have shot.
- Opening His Pre-Wedding Gift. If we capture only one side of this exchange, what kind of photographers would we be? Sometimes grooms' gifts are comedic, sometimes they are sweet and thoughtful, whatever his reaction, we Must Have it "on film".
- Reading His Pre-Wedding Letter. If we didn't his reaction to reading his bride's thoughtfully handwritten letter, we wouldn't be doing our jobs. Grooms are sometimes surprised by their own emotions at what those letters contain, and we know our brides consider this moment a Must Have, and so do we.
List of Bridal Party Shots
- Bride with Bridesmaids Group Photos. Some brides consider it super important that we get this shot, and some don't. Because of this, we have this one listed on our Very Important. We get the bride and her bridesmaids together in various poses to catch their personalities.
- Groomsmen and Bride Group Photos. And just like the previous shot, we consider having this one a Very Important shot. Some brides may not care to have the groomsmen with her, while others might consider them like brothers.
- Individual Bridesmaids. When a bride chooses her bridesmaids, it's a very important and personal decision, so having a photo of each of these wonderful and beautiful ladies in her life is considered a Must Have in our books.
- Groom and Groomsmen Group Photo. Of course, to match the ladies, we Must Have the groom and groomsmen together for a few shots! Getting the men all together for these can be a lot of fun, too.
- Groom and Groomsmen Individuals.We like to have the groomsmen and the groom together in portraits of just the two of them. These are Must Have photos because just like the Bridesmaids, the groomsmen were chosen carefully and are important people in the groom's life.
- Individual Groomsmen. Another Must Have is having individual groomsmen with the groom because we know how close they are! This day will be remembered forever and capturing the love between these guys is just as important as getting shots of the ladies.
- Bridesmaids with Groom Group Photos. Another fun photo is always the bridesmaids with the groom. We consider this one another in our Must Have shot list because of how much fun they turn out for the happy couple to look back on.
List of the Portraits of the Happy Couple
Because each and every couple is completely different with different personalities, likes and dislikes, we ask each couple what shots they want us to take, we also offer our suggestions based on the different wedding venues because we've had the experience in what will look beautiful and really show off the bride and groom in a way that compliments them and their individual tastes. These are obviously Must Have shots.
Wedding Ceremony Essential Shots
- Sign In / Guest Book / Similar Item. Some weddings have a guest book, others have plates, or photo albums. We've seen a variety of items the happy couple has asked people to sign, but not everyone chooses to do this, either. Because of this, we have it in our Very Important list.
- Unity Candle or Similar. Unity candles are traditional, but we've also seen couples use a vase they fill with sand, among other things. Some couples like doing this, some don't, or maybe some couples don't consider this part of the ceremony especially important. This is why we list it in our Very Important list.
- Seating of the Mothers. The Mother of the Bride and the Mother of the Groom are both critical parts of the family, and many times, the wedding planning, so we add this shot to our Must List and capture the moments both of these amazing ladies are seated as the ceremony gets started.
- Someone Lighting the Unity Candle or Similar Item. We list this as a Must Get shot because of the meaning behind the candle (or similar). This is the moment when these two people become one! Who couldn't want photos of that?
- Groom/Groomsmen Entering.Of course, this is on our Must Have list. Having the photos of the men come in and stand in their line, ready to watch their best friend get married, while he stands, anxiously waiting is a poignant moment of the ceremony.
- Bridesmaids Entering. Just like getting photos of the groom's party, we Must Have photos of the bridesmaids entering and lining up to wait for their best friend to come down the aisle, as well.
- Bride's Entrance. If a wedding photographer doesn't get this shot, we don't want to know what happens to them! This is an absolute MUST HAVE shot. Everyone stands to watch the glowing bride come down the aisle, walking slowly down the aisle to the man she has chosen to keep in her life forever. What could be more touching?
- Family Watching the Bride's Entrance. We also Must Have photos of family and friends watching the bride walk down the aisle. This can be one of the more emotional parts of the ceremony as people realize how truly real this moment is.
- Someone Playing Music. Because the happy couple has take a lot of time and put a lot of effort into choosing their music, or sometimes because it is a family member or friend playing for them, at this most sentimental time of their lives, we make sure to get this shot. It's a Must Have for us.
- Someone Reading Poem / Scripture, Etc. Many, many times, there is someone reading a poem they wrote or scripture they wanted to share specifically for their friends or family, and we include photos of this in our Must Have list because it can be particularly special for the bride and groom.
List of Shots of the Reception
- Centerpieces. While everyone is getting ready with makeup and clothes, others are getting together the reception! A lot of work goes into these events, so we try to get shots of the table centerpieces and we list it as a Very Important shot.
- Last Dance. There is one last dance of the night and we have it in our books as Very Important to get photographs of it. Although, sometimes there are other things happening that may be more important, or the bride and groom need or want our attention somewhere else.
- Sign in Table/Picture, Etc. Getting a shot of the sign in during the reception is a Must Have because it adds to the memories of the event! A wedding is not simply the ceremony alone.
- Other Important Details. This is a bit individual and experience driven. These shots could be photos of the groom cake, or lyrics to a special song. We take a look at the overall ceremony and reception and together, along with feedback from the couple, we gather photos of special details. We consider this a Must Have because of how individual each family and ceremony are.
- First Dance. Of course, we Must Have photographs of the first dance!
- Father/Bride Dance. Another Must Have shot in our list is the Father of the Bride and the Bride dance. This moment is more than special for these two, as the father lets his little girl go into the arms of another man for the rest of her life.
- Mother/Groom Dance. We can't have the Father of the Bride and the Bride dancing without also getting the Mother of the Groom and the Groom dancing. We Must Have these photos as the Mother is sharing her little boy's heart with another woman now.
- Someone Singing or Playing Music. Again, this has taken a lot of effort and planning, so when someone sings or plays music, we capture that so you can keep those complete wedding memories of everything that happened. We simply Must Have it.
- Toasts. The toasts of the wedded couple are some of the most emotional, moving, and meaningful parts of the wedding, so we Must Have these photographs.
- Cake Cutting. Because the wedding couple often has a little fun, and also because this is another one of those poignant parts of a wedding, we Must Have a shot of the bride and groom cutting the cake. Shoving into each others' faces totally optional.
- Bouquet Toss. Because of the absolute glee and sometimes competition between the ladies trying to capture the bouquet, we Must Have these shots; both of the bride throwing and the ladies who try to catch it.
- Garter Toss.Not every couple decides to do a garter toss, but for those that do, it's normally a pretty humorous part of the wedding. So we added this one to our Must Have list.
- Group Shots of Guests at Tables. We also get plenty of shots of guests at the wedding, enjoying the dance floor or the camaraderie, but we Must Have shots of groups at the tables. We think it's important to capture these memories of who came and enjoyed your wedding day with you.
- Frat/Sorority Group Singing or Activity. Some friends last forever and sometimes so do the Fraternity or Sorority ties. Making memories through college changes someone's life, so for the couples that choose to sing, dance, chant, or do "the handshake", we'll capture that for you. We actually include it as a Must Have.
We have worked hard over the years to develop this list to make sure we catch the most important events during your wedding to tell your love story as it is shared with your family and most cherished guests. Need a photographer? Reach out and let's talk!